Earlier in the week, soon-to-be Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had a farewell chat with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press that went over his decision to ask for a trade, what Detroit means to him, and his future with in Los Angeles.
On Sunday, Albom published their conversation in whole, giving fans a couple little extra interesting points before Stafford leaves town.
Perhaps most notable were Stafford’s comments on his former head coaches. He praised Jim Schwartz as the guy who gave him and his career a chance in Detroit. As for his successor, Stafford said he was blown away by Jim Caldwell when the two sat down as part of the interview process. In fact, Stafford says he wish he could’ve played for Caldwell longer.
“I loved playing for him,” Stafford said. “I know that the Fords were trying to do the right thing they were trying to make the next step. They were shooting their shots to try and make us what they thought we should and could be. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with really any of the coaches.”
Ultimately, the Lions fired Caldwell after back-to-back 9-7 seasons, hoping to take the next step. That’s when the Lions brought in former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. In his first season with Detroit, there were reports that his personality clashed with players, including Stafford. However, the veteran quarterback had nothing but positive things to say about Patricia.
“He and I had a good relationship, no matter what anybody wants to say,” Stafford said. “I could go into his office and talk to him, he could get me on the phone whenever he needed to. I think we both grew in that relationship. I have a lot of respect for him and who he is, as a football coach and an unbelievable mind.”